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Help & Advice

Who can I
ask for advice?

NHS Choices

The NHS choices website provides a wide range of information on many types of cancer and their treatment.  The Health A-Z tab is a useful starting point as it lists all conditions in alphabetic order.

http://www.nhs.uk
 

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan helps people affected by cancer by providing support, guidance, information or just someone to talk to. The website also provides links to support groups near you.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk or freephone 0808 808 00 00 Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm
 

Cancer Research

For independent information about cancer, visit Cancer Research UK’s website – the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the world

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org

Watch Jacqueline's Story

Cancerous cells were found in Jacqueline's neck in the spring of 2010. Her four-week course of radiotherapy led to ulceration in her mouth.

Read Full Story

Jacqueline was diagnosed with cancer in her right lymph node at the end of April 2010 and after a series of operations testing other areas of her mouth and throat for cancerous cells Jacqueline started a course of radiotherapy at the end of June 2010. In the second week of treatment Jacqueline developed oral mucositis.

'I was warned about the ulceration, and I expected...maybe an ulcer maybe several, but not the joined up everywhere ulcer'

The ulcers came on almost overnight all across the inside of her right cheek and some on her gums, tongue and lips, so they were visible on the outside. The pus and mucous produced by the ulcers was very slimy and made Jacqueline's mouth feel revolting and unbearably painful.

'Just the physical act of trying to get food from the lips and swallow it seemed almost impossible'

In addition, her sense of taste was lost and distorted so that 'even bananas could taste like engine oil or nothing at all'

Jacqueline couldn't eat from the pain, lost her appetite and started to hate the sight of any food and couldn't bear to talk about meals or even watch others eat. Jacqueline rapidly lost a stone and a half in weight, 'I wasn't really overweight to begin with, so I couldn't afford to lose weight' and became very tired. Any movement or contact with her mouth was exceptionally painful which made talking a problem and Jacqueline was embarrassed to speak in case people saw the ulcers or she dribbled any of the mucous.

'Total one hundred per cent depression'

Jacqueline felt very low, angry and frustrated with the oral mucositis.

'One of the nurses in the radiotherapy unit offered me the Gelclair®. She gave me a couple of packets. I tried it that night and asked for more the following morning'

Gelclair® allowed Jacqueline to sleep better and made her mouth less dry and uncomfortable in the night and during radiotherapy sessions.

'Gelclair® gave some kind of comfort, a little relief from the pain'

Close Story

Additional Advice

Is there any additional
advice available?

We provide a number of materials to help patients experiencing oral mucositis. These include:

Your Guide to Oral Mucositis Booklet

Brushing Up Booklet